Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Tuesday said only “strong American leadership” will prevent a similar outbreak to COVID-19 that “could be far worse.”
Rubio during an appearance on “Fox and Friends" blasted China amid an investigation by U.S. intelligence authorities to determine the origin of the virus — including whether it was the result of a leak at a virology lab in Wuhan, China.
“We already know enough about what happened in China to tell you they've done something wrong, which is they haven't allowed the world to fully understand how this thing began and they've covered it up,” Rubio said. “Now what it actually leads to, that's what the world needs to know, because the next one could be far worse than this.”
“Coronavirus is terrible,” he said, adding: “It has killed people, you've seen what it's done to our society and country and the world. The next one could be much deadlier, much more disruptive. People forget all this research that China does is still going on right now. As we speak, they are doing it, today. It doesn't stop. It continues.
Rubio has introduced A “COVID Act” that would institute sanctions on Chinese doctors and firms if China doesn’t allow a legitimate investigation of the genesis of the virus.
“For all we know, the next great pandemic is being developed in a Chinese laboratory,” Rubio said, saying this was a “global issue.”
The Rubio bill would “cut off any and all federal funding for research” if China “doesn’t allow for a full, clear, and transparent investigation of how this thing started.”
The senator said “most of the countries around the world think like I do,” but “they just won’t say it publicly.”
“It takes a very forceful position on the part of the United States for other countries to step forward,” Rubio urged.“They need forceful American leadership in order to make these things happen.”
But Rubio charged the Biden administration hasn’t shown that.
“I don’t think you’ve seen forceful American leadership from the Biden administration on anything so far, much less this,” he said.
Rubio also blasted White House plans to “internationally isolate” China if they try to prevent a COVID-19 origin investigation.
“I think there's a couple problems there. The first is most of the countries around the world think the way I do, like I just said,” he argued. “If you went around and asked them they would all say the same thing, they just won't say it publicly, because all these countries, China has enormous leverage on them economically. They need China economically, they are smaller economies and so forth.
“So it takes a very forceful position on the part of the United States for other countries to be willing to step forward. There are exceptions, Australia being one of them and a few others. But generally speaking - look at Europe - it's not that these countries agree with China, it's that they don't want to speak out, because they don't want to get hit with their own sanctions, they don’t want to get hit economically. “
After the Biden summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Rubio complained how a “tightly scripted” Biden struggled with the Russian leader, suggesting Putin may think “this guy may not be in full control” of the presidency based on Biden’s performance, Florida Politics reported.
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